Making 800*600 comfortable
And other assorted Desktop tricks

For : Mepis Linux

by : je.saist

The purpose of this guide is two fold.

1: As is known, I cap all my guides in the 800*600 resolution.

2: A lot of Linux users have equipment that just will not display in 1024*768.

This normally would not be a problem, but the default KDE desktop for the latest releases of Simply Mepis is almost downright hostile to users stuck at 800*600. But don't worry, KDE is pretty flexible, so we can be looking at something more friendly in a matter of mouse strokes.

And as a side note, most future guides will probably be using the somwhat customized 800*600 desktop.

This guide will also cover some other interesting tricks you can pull off under KDE.


1: The first step is to remove icons from the task bar that really are not needed.





2: We'll get rid of KWrite first, so right click on KWrite





3: And choose Remove Kwrite button





4: Once it's gone, we can also take Open Office off of the desktop




5: And Kontact is going to go bai bai as well.





6: Once the icons are gone, right click  in the Window bar space to bring up the task bar menu.





7: Click on remove





8: Then click on applet





9: Say goodbye to KWeather.





10: There we go. Now the task bar does not look as cramped.





11: Alright, right click again in the Window bar space and choose Configure Panel





12: Looks like the configure panel is hidden by the task bar.





13: Click on the tab that says HIDING





14: Put checks in show left panel-hiding button and show right panel-hiding button





15: Now start hitting the TAB button on the keyboard





16: You should see a little box of dots move around the box. When it gets to the spot shown, STOP





17: Now comes the hard part, since this has to be done blind.

Hit the Tab Button 5 times.

Then Punch Enter on the keyboard





18: If you counted right, there should now be arrows on the side of the K-menu bar.





19: Tap the left handed arrow and watch the bar dissapear.




19a: Before continuing on, the Animate Panel Hiding button controls how fast the panel dissapears. For those who want a cool looking desktop, taking it to the slowest setting looks pretty spiffy.


20: Now hit ok





21: Now the desktop just looks empty. Click the lefthand arrow again.





22: Now lets work on that size. Right click again in the Window bar space and choose Size





23: Take the size down to tiny





24: If this is hard on the eyes, don't worry, we'll get to that part later.





25: Alright, now click on the OS Control Center.





26: Enter Root Password





27: When the OS Control Center opens, click on mouse and display





28: The section we want is right here with the relative size of text





29: Change the size to smaller and then hit Apply





30: We will be told that the change will take affect when the computer reboots.





31: On the reboot it seems that the icons are now not as large as they were before. Looks a little more natural.





32: Don't forget you can change the taskbar size. If Tiny is too small...





33: try small





34: Alright, time to work on some desktop tricks. Right click on the desktop and choose the option that says Configure Desktop






35: While you can do some cool stuff in here such as making a slide show for the background image, or setting different images for each desktop, lets click on Behavior





36: There's a really cool function in here under the Menu Bar at the top of the screen.



36A: Setting a desktop menu bar gives a Mac OSX type bar at the top.



36B: One of the advantages is that you can easily switch between windows, and there are also some Mac OSX Expose type functions for window arrangement.





37: Choosing the Mac OS-Style bar has another little trick with KDE applications.



37A: Under KDE Applications, the Desktop bar will become the KDE File/Edit/View bar.



37B: It's just a cool feature, but it's one I love.





38: While you don't have to do a menu bar, I'm leaving the Mac OS-style bar up.





39: Alright, lets look at some tricks with the task bar. Right click in the window bar again, and go back to Configure Panel





40: Lets go ahead and move our taskbar out of the way





41: Then Click on Appearance





42: Lets put a check in Enable Transparency





43: And then for now, Hit Advanced Options





44: You can do several interesting tricks in this box.





45: One of the tricks is the applet handles. Applet Handles are the little lines next to the buttons at the bottom that let you move the different parts of the taskbar around. Mepis now defauls with these hidden, locking the taskbar.

Lets go aheand and change those handles to Visible





46: You can also control the amount of tint the task bar has, as well as the color of the tint. For now the tint color is close to the background color, so I'm going to leave it at that, and hit OK.





47: Now I'm going to hit Apply





48: After I hit apply, I'm going to click on the Taskbar button.





49: Here I am going to uncheck Show Windows from all desktops. That way, only windows on the desktop I'm using will be at one the taskbar. When you don't have a lot of space to work with, or you use lots of desktops, this may be a useful function.





50: Now hit Apply





51: The Modified Task bar will now pop up. Below we can see the visible handles mentioned earlier, and the desktop image shining through.





52: Hide the task bar again and hit ok





53: There we go. Now our desktop looks... Well, not so cool. Those handles kind of stand out.





54: If you have your task bar set, I'd suggest either hiding the handles, or setting them to fade out. In the fade out mode, handles will not show unless you click on them.





55: So there's my final desktop. A mix of KDE, Windows, and Mac.





Lets see your desktop next.


Take me back to the guides


Document made with Nvu